Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Suffolk, New York
Sudden GH/KH drop? Shrimp Death and Snail Shell Deterioration
I have a 25g Walstad cube: Nearly 1.5 years old. Dirt, capped with something maybe sand or some tiny crushed clay flourite.
I had a bunch of little bugs and even hydra but I haven't spotted a hydra for a long time.
Half of the tank is a super healthy Monte Carlo carpet, the rest of the tank is packed with Crypt, rotala, java fern and an anubia. I don't dose ferts.
Lights are two CFL's in cheap domes.
The filter is a small internal filter with a mechanical sponge just to move water. I squeeze it out every few weeks. I usually top off any evaporated water every 2 weeks and remove and replace about 2-4 gallons every other top off. Water treated with Prime.
Water parameters per non calibrated API master kit: PH 7.4-7.6 (using regular and high test), Ammonia 0, Nitritite 0, Nitrate I guess 5 ppm. GH 6* KH 2*
Temp - constant 74*
After this tank was running for 6 months or so and seeing a constant 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite 5 Nitrate, I stopped checking the parameters, probably has been a year.
I have Rili shrimp, amano shrimp, a nerite snail, golden mystery snail and a ton of MTS and Ramshorn.
I feed Hikari algae wafers, Hikari shrimp food, random shrimp food from Han Aquatics and sometimes fish flakes - I was feeding 2x per day until my current issues started.
I started with around 20-30 Rili shrimp a year ago. They were breeding, but not 100's turning into 1000's like I hear others get. Recently, I noticed a quick decrease in baby/juvi shrimp, then less and less adult shrimp. I decreased feeding and was going on vacation for a week so did a 7.5g WC and instructed the care taker to feed minimally and every other day. I went from around 100 rili shrimp to probably 20-30 today within the past 3-4 months.
I noticed that the small (oldest) part of my golden mystery snails shell was starting to deteriorate and it's gotten pretty bad over the past few weeks. I've removed it from the tank to a container of tank water to feed it a piece of a tums, blanched kale, and blanched spinach but it isn't very interested.
This week one of my amano's (who I've had for a good year or so) died within days of a molt. It was pretty red after the molt, while still alive. Not sure why?
I'm assuming that my issue is TDS (I dont have a meter) and or low GH and KH .
What can I do, considering this is a dirted tank, with no filter and I prefer to keep it LOW maintenance once this issue is addressed? I do not intend on adding a real filter or doing weekly water changes on a long term basis. Looking for any advise to help get my shrimp population back and thriving... and save my snail.